Alexander Glazunov (1865-1936, Russian)

I don’t have much to say about Alexander Glazunov at this point. Over the years I’ve accumulated many CDs of his music – including multiple versions of his complete symphonies, by Evgeni Svetlanov on Melodiya, Gennadi Rozhdestvensky on Olympia, Valery Polyansky on Brilliant Classics (originally published by Chandos), José Serebrier on Warner, Alexander Anissimov on Naxos and Takaaki Otaka on BIS -, but so far I haven’t found the time to listen to them. I need to live 200 years.

The only work of Glazunov I’ve given more careful attention to is his Violin Concerto – more, I must confess, because it is often the disc-mate of concertos by other composers (Sibelius, Prokofiev, Khachaturian… ) than through genuine interest for the piece. There seems to be a “Russian” approach, examplified by David Oistrakh and Julian Sitkovetsky (the father of violinist Dimitri Sitkovetsky, and who died tragically young), dragging out Glazunov’s tempi and sentimentalizing, even “salonizing” the music, which has enough of the salon-sentimental as it is. I much prefer the stricter (and truer to score) approach of Heifetz.

I’ll be reposting my Amazon reviews over here. So far, see:

Glazunov, Khachaturian: Violin Concertos. Julian Sitkovetsky, Moscow Youth Orchestra, Kirill Kondrashin, Romanian Radio Orchestra, Niyazi. Russian Disc RD CD 15 009 (1994)

Comments are welcome